The Marlins are in talks with former manager Fredi Gonzalez about their third base coach vacancy, reports MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro. Gonzalez, who skippered both the Marlins and Braves (who fired him earlier this season), has had multiple conversations about the possibility with the team, per Frisaro’s report. Serving as a third base coach wouldn’t be anything new for Gonzalez, as he held that post with the Braves before being hired as the Marlins’ manager in 2007. Miami is also looking to find a replacement coach for hitting coach Barry Bonds, whose contract was not renewed, as well as bullpen coach Reed Cornelius. Frisaro writes that former big league third baseman Mike Pagliarulo, who played with Marlins manager Don Mattingly as a member of the Yankees, is under consideration for the hitting coach vacancy.
More from the division…
- Scott Boras spoke with the Washington Post’s Chelsea Janes about a pair of his clients that have been the subject of plenty of injury news and speculation: Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg. Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci has reported that Harper is playing through a shoulder injury despite denials from the team, but neither Harper nor Boras has been willing to comment on the matter, leading to some degree of uncertainty. “He’s obviously played with limitations at times this year, no question,” said Boras of Harper. “… It’s a very different year when you lead the league in walks and intentional walks, making the adjustment about how to handle how the league’s decided to take away what you normally have instead of challenging you.” Boras wouldn’t give a definitive comment about Harper’s injury or lack thereof, stating only, “[I]f there’s anyone pushing Bryce, it’s Bryce.” As far as Strasburg, Boras voiced praise for the Nationals’ communication on the matter and didn’t appear to express any significant concern over Strasburg’s recent bullpen session (which was cut short by some discomfort in his injured forearm) or the fact that his client is attempting to return from a fairly recent injury to pitch in October.
- In his latest Inbox column, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki answers several questions about the Phillies’ offseason and their 2017 outlook. Notably, Zolecki believes Odubel Herrera to be the only definitive lock for next season’s outfield and adds that he expects the Phillies to acquire an outfielder this offseason as well, though not necessarily one that will require an expensive multi-year commitment. Zolecki also has difficulty envisioning a trade of Cameron Rupp due to the fact that there aren’t any other experienced catchers in the organization (although speaking purely speculatively, I’ll suggest that the Phils could deal Rupp and sign a veteran to a one-year deal as a bridge to Jorge Alfaro and/or Andrew Knapp).
- David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution chatted with Braves GM John Coppolella about the hiring of Ron Washington as his new third base coach and explained that the former Rangers skipper was initially interviewing only for the managerial vacancy. However, Washington impressed the Braves, and Coppolella and other Braves decisionmakers reached out to the A’s, where Washington served as a third base coach in 2016, about possibly hiring him. “It just happened where, as we spoke to Oakland, credit to (Athletics executive vice president of baseball operations) Billy Beane and to (general manager) David Forst — these guys told us, ‘We just want Wash to be happy, we just want good things for Wash,'” said Coppolella. “When he wanted to go for this opportunity so he could be closer to home, so he could get on a new adventure, those guys (Beane and Forst) didn’t stand in his way. Those are two high-character guys who really did a selfless thing all the way around with Ron Washington.”
- Meanwhile, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Athletics did make an attempt to retain Washington by offering to match the Braves’ offer, but Washington’s ultimate preference was to be closer to his family in New Orleans, so the A’s respectfully allowed him to move to another team. Beane offered high praise for his departing coach, issuing a statement in which he said that Washington’s “professionalism and enthusiasm have left an indelible mark on everyone in our organization.”